SNRI Drugs – Antidepressant

Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)

Q: What is purpose of this form of drug?

A: Help relieve depression symptoms – irritability, sadness.  Can also be used for anxiety disorders and nerve pain (and long-term chronic pain).  If you have both depression AND chronic pain, then SNRIs by be helpful.  Effective in treating depression.

Q: How do SNRIs work?

A: Block the reabsorption (reuptake) of the neurotransmitter Serontonin and Norepinephrine in the brain.

Q: What drugs approved by FDA for SNRI?  Additional URL info through

A: Desvenlafaxine (Pristiq)

A: Duloextine (Cymbalta).  This is also approved to treat anxiety and certain types of chronic pain

A: Levomilnacipran (Fetzima)

A: Venlafaxine (Effexor XR).  This is also approved to treat certain anxiety disorders and panic disorder.

Q: What kinds of side effects and cautions?

A: All SNRIs work same way, but if you can’t tolerate one, try a different one.  Side effects could be non or mild and usually go away after a couple weeks.  To reduce nausea, take with food.

A: Some common side effects are nausea, dry mouth, dizziness, headache, excessive sweating.

A: Other possible side effects are tiredness, constipation, insomnia, changes in sexual function – reduced sexual desire, difficulty reaching orgasm or the inability to maintain an erection (erectile dysfunction), and loss of appetite.

Q: What are some safety issues?

A: Venlafaxine, desvenlafaxine, levomilnacipran may raise blood pressure.

A: Duloxetine may worsen liver problems.

A: Same issues as SSRI’s regarding bleeding and tell MD about herbal drugs.  OTC drugs that increase risk of bleeding – Advil, Motrin IB, Aspirin, Warfarin (Coumadin), and other blook thinners.

A: Same as SSRI re: Serotonin Syndrom.

A: Same as SSRI re: Pregnancy.

A: Same as SSRI for Suicide Risk.

A: Same as SSRI for Stopping treatment – too quickly

A: Same as SSRI for finding the right antidepressant

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